Chinley brewer triumphs over lockdown with silver stout award
A Chinley man has won a silver award for his stout ale - after launching his brewery the weekend before lockdown.
Adrian Porteous received the Midlands Region Silver Award for British Dark Beers in the Digital Beer Awards 2020 - organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
Former oil futures trader Adrian, who is ‘delighted’ with the accolade for his Kinder Stout, told how he had marked the inauguration of Big Stone Beer in March with a party at Chinley’s Old Hall Inn.
Though the father-of-two admitted the brewery launch was ‘pretty bad timing’ bottled sales of his beer have reached over 5,000 during lockdown.
Adrian described how as pubs closed he switched distribution to bottled-only - relying on increased online demand as temperatures soared and with them, booze sales across the country.
He said: “The idea was to supply half and half to pubs and shops but we were able to switch quickly to bottles rather than barrels.
“Because of the nice weather everyone was sitting at home with nothing better to do than search the internet for beer - so it turned out not too bad at all.”
Although Adrian admits Big Stone Beer missed out on the promotion of being served in pubs it had benefited from a new loyalty to local shops brought on by the pandemic - six of which stock the locally brewed tipple.
Beer lover Adrian told how he started Big Stone after friends asked to buy bottles of the home brew he handed out as gifts during social occasions.
He said: “There are pretty strict rules around selling alcohol but after my wife said ‘why don’t you just go for it’ I spent a year converting an old barn and getting licences and got started.”
Speaking about his award-winning beer - Kinder Stout - Adrian said the ‘traditional’ barley stout had impressed judges due to its old-fashioned flavour.
He said: “Because of the way Guinness is served people tend to think you have to serve stout from the fridge.
“But this has a very earthy flavour which comes out much better at mild temperatures.
“Craft ales these days have gone towards the American hoppy beer but this harkens back to the old days - and stout drinkers seem to quite like that.
“The award’s really nice because SIBA represent independent breweries so to have some validation from them is great.”
The ‘landmark’ Digital Beer Awards 2020 were entered by over 180 British independent breweries and saw almost 500 different beers judged by 50 expert tasters across two live video judging days.
Expert beer judges, beer sommeliers and experienced brewers were used to judge beers for their flavour, aroma and quality - marking them against internationally recognised beer styles to determine which beers were most deserving of awards.
Blind tasting sessions took place via live video judging sessions across two days.